In the Summer of His Years (song)

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"In The Summer Of His Years"
Single by Connie Francis
from the album
In The Summer Of His Years
B-side "My Buddy"
Released 1963
Format 45 RPM single
Recorded December 2, 1963
Genre Pop
Length 2:32
Label MGM Records K 13203
Writer(s) Herb Kretzmer, David Lee
Producer(s) Danny David
Connie Francis singles chronology
"Whatever Happened To Rosemary"/ "Your Other Love"
(1963)
"In The Summer Of His Years"/ "My Buddy"
(1963)
"Blue Winter"/ "You Know You Don't Want Me"
(1964)
"In The Summer Of His Years"
Single by Mahalia Jackson
B-side "Song For My Brother"
Released 1963
Format 45 RPM single
Recorded November 29, 1963
Genre Pop
Length 2:49
Label Columbia Records 4-42946
Writer(s) Herb Kretzmer, David Lee
"In The Summer Of His Years"
Single by Millicent Martin
B-side "If I Can Help Somebody"
Released 1963
Format 45 RPM single
Recorded 1963
Genre Pop
Label ABC-Paramount Records A45-10514
Writer(s) Herb Kretzmer, David Lee

In The Summer Of His Years is a song written by Herb Kretzmer and David Lee.

The song was written as a tribute song to John F. Kennedy after his assassination on November 22, 1963 in Dallas, Texas, and performed first by Millicent Martin when the BBC aired a tribute to President Kennedy after the tragic events in Dallas. The show on which the song was introduced was a special broadcast of the BBC's satirical weekly news programme That Was the Week That Was; after the news of the tragedy broke, the producers of the show discarded the week's planned scripts and sketches and decided to refashion that week's show as a somber and respectful tribute to Kennedy.

While Mahalia Jackson had recorded the song already on November 29, 1963, Connie Francis recorded her own version on December 2, 1963,[1] followed by its immediate release. The arrangement was provided by Claus Ogerman who also conducted the recording.[2] Other artists to record the song included Kate Smith, Toni Arden, Bobby Rydell, and Hettie Palance. A soundtrack to the That Was the Week That Was broadcast was also released in the United States on Decca Records.

Of the various versions of "In the Summer of His Years," only Francis' and Martin's recordings achieved enough sales action to show up on the Billboard magazine charts. Martin's single, released on the ABC-Paramount label, "Bubbled Under" the Hot 100 singles chart, peaking at No. 104, and Francis' version was nearly a Top 40 hit, peaking at No. 46. On the Cash Box magazine Top 100 chart, the sales of Francis' and Martin's singles were combined, and the song peaked at No. 31.

However, no version of the song was granted a single release in the U.K., and in the United States, the song, even though recorded by a major artist like Connie Francis, was refused airplay by many major radio stations. An article in the December 14, 1963, issue of Billboard quoted staff of several stations in New York and Chicago as saying they would not play the song because they felt it would be in poor taste to capitalize on a national tragedy, or as saying they weren't playing it because of apparent lack of listener interest or because they simply thought the song itself was of poor quality.[3]

All the proceeds of Francis' single and her subsequent album of the same name were donated to the family of J. D. Tippit, a policeman who had also been slain that day in Dallas.[4]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Ron Roberts: Connie Francis Discography 1955–1975,
  2. ^ Connie Francis: Souvenirs, Booklet of 4-CD-Box, Polydor 1996, Cat.-No. 314 533 382-2
  3. ^ "BBC Kennedy Broadcast is Hot Item," Billboard magazine, 14 December 1963, p. 1.
  4. ^ as above

External links[edit]